A dalliance with dietary diversity has seen the best of us dance between the desirable and the dubious. As I was riding in search of the former – the seasonal and somewhat elusive hot cross bun – I encountered the latter in a cheerful little shop called Oatmeals over the road from The Blue Note in Greenwich Village. NYC has a number of very successful one-item outlets, including the rice pudding shop in Spring Street and the rice crispy treat house on the Upper West Side. No doubt the toast craze from the west coast will be next. But for now oats have gone wild.
If necessity is the mother of invention, then the founder of Oatmeals was in need. During college Samantha Stephens gained 35 pounds and wanted to lose weight and have a healthy diet. Oatmeal worked with her budget, so she started to experiment with interesting recipes and planted the seed for the future. A stint as an investment banker at JPMorgan provided the means, while scouring memorabilia on e-bay reapt the mood. Now Quaker have joined the party and Sam is their official ‘creative oatmeal officer’…
If this all sounds like the American dream, then there must have been some input from an English fairy story, as the three bears are featured in-house foodies. Appropriately sized portions come in comforting flavors of savory, spice and all things nice – cinnamon roasted apples, cheddar cheese, bacon and maple syrup – or you can experience an Antioxidant Awakening with Greek yogurt, dried pomegranate, chia seeds and honey. But you have to do the stirring yourself! While the P word was not visible anywhere, that didn’t change the reality that you can put lashings on porridge but it’s still porridge. It was weirdly tempting, but in my story book the woman knew when it was time to make a run for it, especially as Amy’s bakery was just around the corner.
I love that “oats have gone wild” !! Gabrielle you are so funny! I need to pop into Oat Meals for some breakfast right now!